Tag Archives: accommodation

Accommodations near to Kinabalu Park, Kundasang

Low's Peak of Mount Kinabalu

Kinabalu Park is the most popular destination of Sabah, visitors usually find it highly desirable to spend more time exploring the park. However, the official accommodation in Kinabalu Park is expensive. For about RM200 a night, you only get the cheapest dormitory bed with common bathroom in Kinabalu Park. If you don’t mind staying outside the park, RM200 can make you feel like a VIP.

Want more value from your money? In this article is a list of alternative accommodations within 2 Kilometre radius (walking distance) of Kinabalu Park. If cost is not important and your single top priority is convenience, then you may book the room of Kinabalu Park online.

conquer the summit of Mount Kinabalu
The following accommodations range from budget lodges, mid-range chalets to high-end resort, and you can see their exact locations in my Google map. Three things to note:

  1. The prices listed here are normal rates. The accommodation fee is higher in peak season (weekends, public and school holiday).
  2. Each hotel has different policy. e.g. the check-in time can be as early as 1pm or as late as 3pm.
  3. The rates published in some websites might be outdated or don’t include 6% GST (Government Service Tax, or known as VAT in other countries).

Recommended Accommodations

To save your time, I personally recommend four accommodations for you to have a quick start. They get excellent or good reviews by their guests, and I’m neither paid nor sponsored by any of them.

1. J Residence

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 400 Meters (≈0.25 Mile)
Rates: RM88/room to RM480/villa (US$≈26-145) (online booking available)
Room Types: Twin-Bed Room, Family Room (Triple-Bed), Villa (3 rooms)

J Residence
Kinabalu Park is only a 15-minute walk away from J Residence. No matter you are solo or group traveller, you will get the most bang for your buck here. Start from RM88, you already can get a spacious and comfy bedroom, with attached bathroom and balcony. The lodge overlooks the lush green hills and farm of Bundu Tuhan.

house of J Residence
Their main feature is the see-through glass door and window that allow you to enjoy the misty view of highland (Room 5B has the best view). The lodge has no restaurant but the nearest one (Restoran Bayu Kinabalu) is only 50 Meters away. They have BBQ pits if you want to throw a party, and charcoals and utensils can be provided for a small fee.

bedroom of J Residence
Website: www.jresidence.com
Facebook: J.Residence.Kundasang
Tel: +60 12-8696969

2. Mile 36 Lodge

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.4 Km (≈0.87 Mile)
Rates: RM120/room to RM360/bungalow (US$≈36-109) (online booking available)
Room Types: Twin-bed / Triple-bed Rooms, Family Room (4 pax), Studio Room, Bungalow (8 pax)

Mile 36 Lodge
Formerly known as Sunny’s Village, Mile 36 Lodge is a decent accommodation for family vacation because of its surrounding garden and fantastic view of Mt. Kinabalu at their front lawn.

Mile 36 Lodge and Mt. Kinabalu
(Photo Source: Facebook of Mile 36 Lodge)

For visitors who seek for a homey environment in cooling highland, Mile 36 Lodge is suitable for a long stay. Its rooms are clean, amenities are well-maintained, and it has a restaurant and souvenir shop.

dining hall of Mile 36 Lodge
Website: www.mile36lodge.com
Facebook: Mile-36-Lodge
Tel: +60 88-888161

3. Tahubang Lodge

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 100 Meters (≈328 Feet)
Rates: RM40/bed to RM160/room (US$≈12-36)

Tahubang Lodge
If you just want a convenient and cheap place to stay, and you don’t mind everything is basic, Tahubang Lodge will be your best choice. This lodge is only 100 Meters away from Kinabalu Park, the nearest accommodation to the park. Tahubang Lodge is a small lodge that can host 16 people, below are their room types:

  • 1 unit of Dormitory Room (Bunk Bed) @ RM40/bed or RM160/room
  • 1 unit of Twin-Bed Room @ RM100/room
  • 2 units of Queen-Size Bed Room @ RM120/room
  • 2 units of Triple-Bed Room @ RM150/room

(No meal included, shared toilet and bathroom)

triple-sharing bedroom of Tahubang Lodge
Another plus of this lodge is, Panataran Restaurant is just next door, which serves good variety of local food. Free Wifi and hot shower are available. Luggage storage is also available for rent at RM5 per luggage.

bunk beds of Tahubang Lodge
Facebook: tohubang.lodge
Tel: +60 88-888094

4. Jungle Jack Backpacker

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.6 Km (≈1 Mile)
Rates: RM35/bed (US$≈10)
Room Types: Dormitory bunk beds

Jungle Jack Backpacker and Mt. Kinabalu
(Photo Source: Facebook of Jungle Jack Backpacker)

Jungle Jack Backpacker is almost as basic as a camp that I have to think many times to recommend it. As its name implies, it is for backpacker and not for everyone. However, Jungle Jack Backpacker receives overwhelming positive reviews by their guests and becomes popular by words of mouth among European backpackers.

group photo of Jungle Jack Backpacker
(Photo Source: Facebook of Jungle Jack Backpacker)

For foreign backpackers who travel in an unfamiliar land, they will really appreciate someone likes Uncle Jack (the owner), a local who is genuine in being their friend, guide and cook. The rave reviews are mainly due to the great hospitality of Uncle Jack. The accommodation fee includes bed, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and unlimited coffee and tea!). Towels, blankets and storage space are provided. Goodness, for that price, I believe Uncle Jack is more interested in making friends than money.

cabin of Jungle Jack Backpacker
(Photo Source: Facebook of Jungle Jack Backpacker)

Website: www.junglejack.weebly.com
Facebook: junglejackbackpacker
Tel: +60 10-9477509

Just another reminder that you can see the location of these accommodations (yellow icon) in my map. My mark points are more accurate than Google’s.

(Click Here to see Bigger Map)

Other Accommodations

Here are over 10 other accommodations ordered by distance to Kinabalu Park. Some are more than 1 Km away. If 1+ Km isn’t considered as a “walking distance” to you, you may take public buses which move between Kinabalu Park and Kundasang / Ranau towns (roughly at 1-hour interval during daytime), or most lodges are more than happy to provide return transport to their guests.

1. Mountain Resthouse

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 400 Meters (≈0.25 Mile)
Rates: RM25/bed to RM80/room (US$≈7.50-24)
Room Types: Dormitory Bunk Bed, Double-Bed / Single-Bed Rooms
Tel: +60 16-8374060

Mountain Resthouse
Mountain Resthouse is a budget lodge which provides dormitory bunk bed (RM25/bed), single-bed room without attached bathroom (RM50), queen-sized bed room (RM60) and room with 1 queen-sized bed and 1 single bed (RM80). They have 12 dormitory rooms which can fit 2 to 4 people per room.

entrance of Mountain Resthouse
Hot water is available. They can cook your meal upon request (for a small fee). A lot of their customers are students.

2. Bayu Kinabalu Lodge

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 450 Meters (≈0.28 Mile)
Rates: RM15/bed to RM80/room (US$≈4.50-24) (online booking available)
Room Types: 8-bed / 6-bed Dormitory, Single-bed / Double-bed Rooms, 4-bed Family Room

Bayu Kinabalu Lodge
Bayu Kinabalu Lodge is a budget accommodation that looks like a 2-floor resident house being re-purposed as a lodge. It is next to a restaurant named Restoran Bayu Kinabalu. If you want to cook your own food, BBQ and kitchen facilities are available.

bunk beds in Bayu Kinabalu Lodge
(Photo Source: Website of Bayu Kinabalu Lodge)

Website: bayukinabalulodge.blogspot.com
Tel: +60 88-889693, +60 13-8532145, +60 14-8608688

3. Ayana Holiday Resort

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 680 Meters (≈0.42 Mile)
Rates: RM88 to RM128 per room (US$≈25-37), RM608 per House (US$≈173) (online booking available)
Room Types: Standard (Queen bed for 2 pax), Deluxe (Queen bed for 2 pax), Superior (1 Queen bed & 1 Single bed), Holiday House (1-storey, 3 bedrooms & bathrooms)

Ayana Holiday Resort
Ayana Holiday Resort is relatively new but you will love its forest view and natural surrounding. It’s a mid-range accommodation that offers clean and affordable rooms and holiday house that target friend and family groups. Their weekday rates are irresistible deals with nearly 50% off.

Ayana Holiday Resort
Website: www.ayanaholidayresort.com
Facebook: AyanaHolidayResort
Tel: +60 14-6636636

4. D’Villa Rina Ria Lodge

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 750 Meters (≈0.47 Mile)
Rates: RM30/bed to RM220/room (US$≈9-66) (online booking available)
Room Types: Dormitory Bunk Bed (12 pax), Queen-bed / Triple-bed Room, Family Rooms (4-6 pax)

D’Villa Rina Ria Lodge at road side
D’Villa Rina Ria Lodge operates since 1992 and quite established. Besides rooms, guests can find almost everything they need, for example, mini shop, restaurant (serve no pork), parking, hot shower, laundry service, TV, BBQ & steamboat, free Wifi and free storage room (for in-house guests).

D’Villa Rina Ria Lodge
Website: www.dvillalodge.com.my
Facebook: DvillaRinaRiaLodge
Tel: +60 88 889282, +60 111-6016936

5. Mount Kinabalu Holiday Home (Haleluyah Retreat Centre)

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.3 Km (≈0.81 Mile)
Rates: RM20/bed to RM180/chalet (US$≈6-54) (online booking available)
Room Types: 5-bed Dormitory, Family Room (3 pax), Chalet (5-6 pax)

Mount Kinabalu Holiday Home (Haleluyah Retreat Centre)
If you like kampung (village) lifestyle with green view, Mount Kinabalu Holiday Home is it. You will be greeted by friendly village dogs upon arrival. The place is big, with garden, fish pond, ballroom (hall) and wonderful view of Kiau Valley a distance away. Facilities and services such as laundry service / dry cleaning, free Wifi, kitchen and room service are available. They also provide transport to airport.

bedroom of Mount Kinabalu Holiday Home (Haleluyah Retreat Centre)
Facebook: mountkinabalu.home
E-mail: ,
Tel: +60 12-8480833

6. Ceaser’s Place

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.5 Km (≈0.93 Mile)
Rates: RM180-200 per studio, RM250 per chalet (US$≈54-75)
Room Types: Studio Unit, Chalet

Mount Kinabalu and Ceaser’s Place
(Photo Source: Facebook of Ceaser’s Place)

In general, their studio unit has 1 or 2 bathroom, shared / private bathroom, kitchenette, living area and Cable TV. The chalet has two rooms with queen-sized bed and attached bathroom (without kitchen). You may look at the photos and details in their Facebook.

Ceaser’s Place
(Photo Source: Facebook of Ceaser’s Place)

Facebook: Ceasers-Place
Tel: +60 88-888343

7. Fairy Garden Resort

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.7 Km (≈1.06 Mile)
Rates: RM80-130 per room (US$≈24-39)
Tel: +60 88-889688

Fairy Garden Resort
Fairy Garden Resort is next to the main road and has 32 rooms. The following are their room types:

  • Queen-sized bed room @ RM80
  • Single-bed room @ RM80/room
  • 1 Queen-sized bed + 1 single bed room @ RM80/room
  • Family: 1 queen-sized bed + 1 single bed + 1 double-decker @ RM110/room
  • Family: 1 queen-sized bed + 2 single beds room@ RM110/room
  • Biggest Room: 2 queen-sized beds + 1 double decker @ RM130/room

bedroom of Fairy Garden Resort
Fairy Garden Resort is famous for thier big restaurant in ground floor, which serves great food and able to host a function for over 100 people.

8. Puncak Borneo Resort

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.7 Km (≈1.06 Mile)
Rates: RM35/bed to RM180/room (US$≈10-54) (online booking available)
Room Types: Dormitory (3 bunk beds), Single-bed / Double-bed / Queen-bed / Family / Deluxe Rooms
Website: puncakborneoresort.blogspot.com (unofficial)
E-mail: ,
Tel: +60 88-889699

Puncak Borneo Resort
Puncak Borneo Resort is relatively new and it’s located on a slope next to main road, a high point where their guests can have a stunning view of Mt. Kinabalu. Its building with Bajau-style roof is quite unique so you won’t miss it when you drive to Kinabalu Park.

9. Nikgold Garden Resort

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 1.9 Km (≈1.18 Mile)
Rates: RM98/room to RM750/bungalow (US$≈30-227) (online booking available)
Room Types: Twin Share / Queen-Bed / King-Bed / Deluxe Room, 3-Bedroom Family Suite, Semi-D House, Bungalow

Nikgold Garden
(Photo Source: Facebook of Nikgold Garden)

In contrast to most accommodations near Kinabalu Park, Nikgold Garden Resort is on deluxe side. If weather permits, you can have a spectacular view of Mt. Kinabalu and its forest at this resort. It’s so quiet that honeymoon couples will find a lot of space and privacy here. If you don’t travel by car, you have to walk 1 KM from its junction next to main road to this resort, possible but taxing. This resort has no restaurant but you can bring your own food and charcoal to barbecue there.

Nikgold Garden
Facebook: NikgoldGarden
Tel: +60 88-888112, +60 19-8426228

10. Kinabalu Mountain Lodge

Distance from Kinabalu Park: 2 Km (≈1.24 Mile)
Rates: RM38/bed to RM180/room (US$≈11.50-54) (online booking available)

Kinabalu Mountain Lodge
Below are the room types of Kinabalu Mountain Lodge in general:

  • Dormitory (10 beds) @ RM38/bed
  • Double-bed room @ RM110/room
  • Japanese room (4 pax) @ RM150/room
  • Family room (4 pax) @ RM180/room

Facilities: common bathroom & toilet, BBQ, steamboat (for rent @RM20), kitchen, hot water

living room of Kinabalu Mountain Lodge
Personally I love this lodge because the exterior and interior of its 3-storey wooden house is so beautiful. It’s definitely on my recommended accommodation in this article if it is nearer to Kinabalu Park. Same as Nikgold Garden Resort, Kinabalu Mountain Lodge is located 1 KM away from main road. Located inside the dense forest, this lodge is more “nature” than the accommodation inside Kinabalu Park. Nature lovers will like this place very much.

Facebook: Kinabalu-Mountain-Lodge
Tel: +60 16-8104909

11. Kinabalu Rose Cabin

Chinese Name: 天山酒店
Distance from Kinabalu Park: 2 Km (≈1.30 Mile)
Rates: RM70-200 per room (US$≈21-60) (online booking available)
Room Types: Twin-bed / Queen-bed / Family Rooms

Kinabalu Rose Cabin
(Photo Source: Facebook of Kinabalu Rose Cabin)

Kinabalu Rose Cabin is a mid-range hotel which is very popular among locals and tourists. Its highlight is the magnificent close-up view of Mt. Kinabalu behind this hotel. Though it calls itself a “cabin”, Kinabalu Rose Cabin is as developed as a small hotel, just to list some facilities, restaurant (serve no pork), gift shop, convenient store, free Wifi, meeting room (can host up to 60 people).

Kinabalu Rose Cabin
(Photo Source: Facebook of Kinabalu Rose Cabin)

Facebook: Rosecabin
Tel: +60 88-889233

Most accommodation listed here are located next to main road to Kundasang Town, you can reach them by long-distance bus. Just 3 final notes: (1) Most accommodations are small and can be fully booked even in non-peak season, so please book earlier, (2) Wifi is generally very slow around Kinabalu Park, so don’t use Wifi service as a deciding factor to choose your accommodation, and (3) the temperature around Kinabalu Park is quite cooling (about 18°C to 25°C), so air-conditioning isn’t required.

I would like to stress again that this list is only for accommodations located within 2 Km radius of Kinabalu Park. There are many other quality accommodations that worth a mention, and I’ll feature them in future.

► More Accommodations around Kinabalu Park

dogs and cats of Kundasang
For this article, I visited most of the accommodations listed here to verify they are still in operation. Seems like almost every lodge has one or two super friendly cats or dogs. It became a “petting” trip too. Just can’t help it. They are too adorable. 😀

Photos taken in Kundasang, Sabah, Malaysia

Little Hut, home sweet home in Mesilau

Little Hut, Mesilau

Travelers always look for good attractions to visit and nice food to eat. After the tour, we all need a great place to stay. It is cool to be served by 5-star hotel but I prefer accommodation with nice surrounding. For me, Little Hut of Mesilau is special, not just because of its cooling temperature of 13-30°C (55-86°F) and spectacular view of Mt. Kinabalu, its homely atmosphere is something unique in homestay of Sabah.

Little Hut signage
Located at 1,460 Metres above sea level, Little Hut is only 12 KM away from Kinabalu Park and 3 KM from Mesilau Park, a convenient spot for me to stay a night and to enjoy the refreshing air far away from bustling Kota Kinabalu City (KK).

Little Hut at night
Pic: at the left is my hut (named Incredible Hut)

I checked into my chalet at 8pm and spent a night in Incredible Hut, a small house that have 3 beds and the only hut without kitchen. The tungsten light of the house looked warm and comfy from outside in the cold and windy evening, I really couldn’t wait to get in.

room of Little Hut
Pic: ground floor of Incredible Hut

After I collected the key from their staff, the 2-storey chalet was all mine. It’s like living in your own house, no room service that reminds you are an outsider. You would appreciate the sense of belonging and freedom here.

second floor of Little Hut
Pic: Incredible Hut has one bed in ground floor and two on top floor.

The space in Incredible Hut isn’t spacious, just nice for medium size Asian like me. If you are almost as big as Incredible Hulk, you may not be able to move so freely. Please note they have bigger chalets and I only show the photos of the smaller hut.

bed in Little Hut
Mesilau is cool at night but not down to freezing point. The feeling is like being inside an office with strong air-conditioning. Putting on a jacket or fleece is enough to keep you warm. There is no heater (and not necessary) in house. Don’t worry, hot water shower is available.

room facilities in bedroom
The interior is simple and decorated with interesting ornaments. Each chalet has TV (with Astro satellite TV) and DVDs to kill your time. But the best activity to do here is to eat some hot stuffs in cold evening together with your friends and family, e.g. BBQ or steamboat. Little Hut can rent you the equipment but you need to bring your own food, which is readily available in Kundasang town only 6 KM away.

treasure chest
Pic: guess what is inside the treasure chest?

bathroom in Little Hut
Pic: Toilet paper, shower gel and shampoo are provided. You need to bring your own towel and toothpaste.

Poetic Dream Houses

I had a very good night sleep in Little Hut. When everything lit up by the sunrise, I started to see the beauty of Little Hut. Seem like they “gardenize and villagize” every corner to give an idyllic and nostalgia touch to their place. They also insert some humorous elements for you to discover here and there.

Little Hut in the morning
Pic: Little Hut in the morning

Mt. Kinabalu in Mesilau

Mt. Kinabalu and Little Hut
The morning view of Mt. Kinabalu is a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know I could see it from Little Hut.

Mt. Kinabalu and garden of Little Hut
Pic: the view of Mt. Kinabalu and Little Hut. Note the small farm in foreground.

little farm in Little Hut
Pic: The little farm + garden in Little Hut is planted with variety of vegetables and flowers such as roses and spring onions. Housewives find this farm intriguing and are excited to tell their children what are those plant.

door of Little Hut

flowers and 4-leg chair

Home Sweet Home

plant in boots

chairs at the door

Stop Watching Me signage

nostalgia feel

If I show the photos above to others without saying the location, most would think these are taken in countryside of European countries.

Pic: balcony of Hut Attack

farm and village view
Pic: village and farm view from the balcony

village view and signage

funny direction signages
Pic: funny direction signages just to make you smile.

flowers near the hut
Pic: backyard of Little Hut

cat of Little Hut
Hey, come and meet Miyao, the chubby and friendly 3-color cat of Little Hut. She acts like the owner of Little Hut and loves to hang out with people.

cat house
Pic: The Cat Residence. Miyao also has her own Little Hut, but she always looks for a chance to sneak into your hut, probably she enjoys the warm cuddling offered by the guests.

cat and Mt. Kinabalu
Pic: Miyao lazes around and as relax as the guests.

Mt. Kinabalu and Kg Mesilau village
Little Hut is in Kampung Mesilou Village and surrounded by village houses.

Kampung Mesilau
You can take a stroll around the village, a friendly neighbourhood where you can explore around and say Hi to the locals.

farm and banana trees
Pic: the plantation in village. The property of Sabah city is super expensive nowadays, so I’m kind of envious of the big land they have here. I believe that’s the concept of Little Hut, which allows city people to experience the peaceful rural life once in a while.

The Chalets

Little Hut has a total of 5 chalets, each with different size, theme and amenities, so it’s important that you select the right hut prior to booking. You can visit their website for more photos and details.

chalets of Little Hut
Pic: from left: Unbreak My Hut, Incredible Hut, Bizza Hut, Hut Attack. Not seen in this photo is Hut Leluyaa, which is behind Bizza Hut.

names of different chalets
Pic: Little Hut uses pun for naming their huts. The names are just for fun and don’t mean anything, so don’t be serious about them.

The following table is a summary of the chalets for your quick reference:

Hut Rate (per day per hut) Remarks
Incredible Hut Mon-Fri: RM150 (≈US$42)

Weekends, Holiday*: RM180 (≈US$50)

Accommodate up to 3 people, suitable for small group of friends and family. No kitchen
Bizza Hut Mon-Fri: RM250 (≈US$70)

Weekends, Holiday*: RM300 (≈US$83)

Accommodate up to 5 people, suitable for family and group of friends. Kitchen available. Good viewpoint for Mt. Kinabalu
Unbreak My Hut Mon-Fri: RM150 (≈US$42)

Weekends, Holiday*: RM180 (≈US$50)

Accommodate up to 2 to 3 people, suitable for couple. Blue & white Greece theme. Kitchen available.
Hut Attack Mon-Fri: RM280 (≈US$78)

Weekends, Holiday*: RM330 (≈US$92)

Accommodate up to 5 people. Kitchen available. View of Kg. Mesilou village and mountain range
Hut Leluyaa Mon-Fri: RM210 (≈US$58)

Weekends, Holiday*: RM250 (≈US$70)

Accommodate up to 2 to 3 people, suitable for couple. Kitchen available. Farm and village view

Rate as of Feb 2015. Please visit their website for latest rate and updated details.
*Public Holiday & School Holiday

Though Little Hut has no restaurant, most chalets have a kitchen with cooking utensils for you to cook, or you can rent BBQ rack and steamboat from them (food not provided).

Contact & Booking

You can book the accommodation with Little Hut up to 6 months in advance by e-mail or phone. You need to pay 50% deposit to secure your booking. The chalets could be full during peak season so it’s better to book earlier.

window of reception
Tel: +60 16-8601416 (9am-8pm)
E-mail: littlehutmesilou@gmail.com / shiaohan@hotmail.com
Website: littlehutmesilou.blogspot.com
Facebook: mesilou
GPS Coordinates: N 6.014536° E 116.599023° (see Location Map)

Getting there

Little Hut is in Kampung Mesilou Village, about 100 KM away from KK (see Location Map). There is no bus going directly to Little Hut, so you need to get there using your own car or hire a taxi at Kundasang town. Most of the time you will drive on paved asphalt road until you reach Kampung Mesilou. After the village, turn to the 3rd junction at the left (which has two tyres as marker), then you have to drive carefully on the narrow concrete road, which you will reach Little Hut near the end (estimated 600 Meters).

I strongly advise you to go there during daytime so you can see the small road or signages clearly. If your car has low body and you can’t see the road clearly in the dark, the bottom of your car would hit the big rocks. You can find detail picture guide and map in their website and Facebook.

Photos taken in Mesilau, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo